1972 Mach 1 Project

Well, after we got the car inside and started inspecting, one thing was for certain. We got a good car. The seller was honest about it and it did not disappoint. As we were unloading parts that were stacked in the interior we stumbled across a few items that got our interest. We ran across the assembly line buck tag, which is hard to find on any classic Mustang these days. The original Ownercard and Ownercard Metal Tag, original Consumer Information sheet, Owners Manual, and tons of other period paperwork examples that show the original provenance of the car. As we went on we foung the keys in the ignition and this is pretty cool: Ford has District Sales Offices. They are called DSO’s by Ford. The DSO is an item on the VIN tag. They are placed in the US, usually in the large cities, as I would think, based on population. More out east, less in the west, until California. Each car made is ordered or assigned a DSO. Well, the key tag that we found with our car was the original key tag from the DSO of Salt Lake City were the car was originally delivered to from the Dearborn, Michigan factory!

 

As we were digging through the paperwork box, we found the original owners name, the original Ford dealership that ordered and sold that car. Our car was ordered as a dealer demonstrator by Bob Bate, the owner of Bob Bate Ford, in Cascade, Idaho. After we found this out, Chris, the master mechanic of the HAM garage, looked up the the dealership and found that they were still in business. So, he called.

 

Chris called and a guy answered the phone.  It was Bob Bate. Junior.  Chris spoke and said that we had a car that was sold at the Bob Bate Dealership and wondered if we could get any more information.  So the Bob Junior throws it out there and says was it a 1972 Green Mach 1? Chris freaked! He’s like how’d ya know? Well, turns out he wondered about that car for a long time and went to tell the story.

He was 9 years old and remembers driving to the Salt Lake City DSO and getting into the back of the car and driving all of the way to Idaho! How cool is that? So, we have the total story from birth at the factory via the Marti report (details to follow when elite Marti is received) to its first life in the Idaho dealership.

The Q code Mach 1 was ordered as a dealer demo car from what we can tell at this point and then sold to one of the mechanics at the Bob Bate Ford Dealership. We have the hand written note from Bob Bate stating that the warranty was still in place at the time of the purchase! We have an excellent paper trail on the car and will post the photos of it.

More of the paper trail will be revealed with photos of the evidence. Right now (June 30) the car is going into paint. We have retained all original exterior sheet metal except for one lower quarter patch and a front valance.  Pictures will be coming soon that will show the quality of this car, the nut and bolt restoration, and the paint, as soon as it is out! Final assembly will be done by the end of August and the car will be for sale!

Stay tuned!!

Mark

 

 

First Official HAM Project

Well after months of searching for the right car (are they ever “right?”) we located a really decent 1972 Mach 1. From the seller it was all original, 351 Cobra Jet, 4 Speed and well optioned. It came to the previous owner pretty rusty so he commenced to putting in new floor pans and lots of engine compartment metal. It was an excellent job. The nice thing about that is that the rockers and rails were good and the body is still in excellent shape with its original paint.

    

 

The truck it came on was something none of us had ever seen. It had a weird clam-shell on the back that allowed a couple of extra cars to be in the trailer for covered transport. Kinda cool. It was loaded with a ton of high dollar cars. A Ferrari F12, Porsche Cayenne, an Audi that I didn’t know and a Classic Reflection Coachworks Corvette Conversion! Tons of money on the trailer and one car that couldn’t move under its own power and of course, it’s ours.

 
          

We got the car in the shop and started digging in.

 

January 2017! Update

Well, work has progressed but we haven’t been keeping up with our posting. Here is the recap of 2016. The 1967 Cougar work is moving forward. Slowly. New pictures will be up soon. One of the reasons it is moving slowly is the restoration shop is full of Japanese motorcycles!

The last Honda CT 70 we restored was sold to a guy in Florida and it ended up with several judged awards! A Best In Class at the Boca Raton Concourse de’ Elegance and a Best In Class at the Riding Into History Classic Motorcycle show in St. Augustine, as well as a couple others. The pictures will be posted here. Check it out, it is pretty cool.

So with the success he had with our restoration he called us to source a pretty rare little bike. It is a 1986 Honda Z50 Special. It is the Ultimate Survivor! The Special was a limited run by Honda for the Christmas sales season of 1986. What made it special is that Honda chromed the whole bike. It was a standard Z50, all chrome with a special “Special” tank sticker on it. Well, we sourced one in Chicago. There was a northside dealer that took two of the Specials in 1986 (which was the max that any dealer was allowed to get), assembled them and brought them home. Neither bike was ridden and only a small amount of gas was put in the tank to test the bike and then the tank was drained and they sat until last year when they were purchased out of a consignment shop! We got wind of them and it was a no-brainer for our guy in Florida to pull the trigger. Interested? I know where the other one is! Drop us a line if you are a serious buyer for the twin 1986 Special. Both of these bikes are true museum pieces. Perfect survivors and un-touched or modified. Check out the pictures.

So after the Special shipped out, we are in the middle of 2 1970 CT 70 4 speed restorations. One is sold and the other will be for sale shortly. The one that will be for sale is getting a new top end and a clutch. It won’t be long. I will post some before pics to get it out there.

A Honda ATC 200ES Big Red will be rolling in for a quick refurb too. That will be for sale shortly also.

The big news is the car that is coming in. It is not Japanese like the rest of the restoration shop work. It fits our company name: American Muscle! We are super stoked to get it and start the work! Second week of February! It is purchased, so stay tuned for pictures and updates!

Restoration Shop Work

Well, the restoration shop is picking up a little bit with a few barn finds. We got a line on a couple of Honda CT 70 4 Speeds and picked them up for next to nothing. Remember, asking price does not set market value and the actual price paid is usually reflective of its condition. Well that is the case with the little Trail 70 Honda’s we picked up.

They are both full teardown and full restoration. So after some thought on what we are going to do with them we decided to sell one and keep one. Both of the CT’s are 4 speeds which in the CT world makes them pretty rare. The 4-speed with a clutch was only offered for 3 years. One of the bikes is a 1970, that is the one we are keeping and selling the 1972. It is at Ebay online for sale here.  We will get some pictures of the 1970 4-speed online this weekend.

The 1970 we are going to put in the shop. We have one client who may be interested in it, and if not, maybe just a side project to do whenever. It will go to a 100 point restoration unless someone calls and orders a custom.

There may also be a 1983 Honda Odyssey FL 250 showing up tomorrow. That will be a quick freshen-up and sell.

We are looking at a couple of cars right now for our first build. Stay tuned.

1967 Cougar Restoration Update 1

Well, after a month of being busy at work, dealing with the Feds to maintain certain privileges to fly the friendly skies, and the IRS, to stay out of jail to exercise those privileges, work on the Cougar has resumed!

The restoration of our Cougar started before Hunting American Muscle was launched, so I’ll be catching everyone up on the car and the work. We purchased the car in the Fall of 2014. Then the wife wanted a bigger house so we moved a couple of months later, so the real work didn’t start until the winter of 2015. The car is a 1967 Mercury Cougar Dan Gurney special and a Marti Report verified 1 of 1. Power disc brakes, an A code, 225 horsepower 289 and the famous C-4 automatic. Nowhere near a powerhouse, but a decent performer in the day. The Cougar, as most car people know,  was Mercury’s answer to the wildly popular Mustang. Introduced in 1967, it was designed to be more of a European sports car that was more luxurious with a longer and lower stance. The Cougar was stretched 3  longer inches in the back. Other than that, it shared the same uni-body as the Mustang, and just about everything else. Since everything is reproduced for the Mustang, it is pretty easy to get Cougar parts because of the crossovers.  So restoring the Cougar is almost as easy (easy, right) as the Mustang.

Our cougar is a 1967 that we located in Bloomington, Indiana, home of the Hurryin’ Hoosiers at Indiana University.  The guy that had was a musician and moving to Hollywood and had to sell it. We got it right. He bought it from the original owner in 2005 in Chicago. Before that the car sat in a garage for 24 years! An affidavit from the original owner matches the odometer at just over 37000 miles!  Lots of wax markings from the factory still exist, the data plate on the door is the original and the buck tag on the radiator support is there too. The car is complete and it was ready for restoration.

Cougar 006                                                                                   Cougar 004

We got the car in the shop and got it on stands. I started on the rear suspension. Got the exhaust with the original ford muffler out of the way and then on to the shocks and springs. The shocks were the original Autolite units! There was no resistance on those shocks at all in either direction. Got the springs removed and lowered the rear end down. Don’t forget those parking brake cables. The rear axle is now at the other shop and is getting sandblasted. There was a lot of noise coming from the rear end so we purchased axle bearings Warrick Automotive, the local Napa parts store and had the bearings pressed on in their machine shop. The spring and shock mount plates were blasted in the cabinet and then sprayed with Eastwood rattle cans of Rust Encapsulator Gray for a primer over the bare metal and then the Eastwood Extreme Chassis Black in Satin for the topcoat. The axle housing will be with the Eastwood Extreme Chassis Black in Gloss for a little contrast.

The differential that came out of the axle was an open unit and carried 3.00 gears. That is a fine ratio, a little performance and ok on the gas mileage, but we are going for a little more performance. So we opted for a 4 pinion Traction-Loc rear end with a 3.55 ratio. All of it inside of a Ford factory extra rib 8-inch case with the stock 28 spline axles. That should help!

More to follow, stay tuned!

 

 

The Wheels are Turning!

Well, here we are! The wheels of Hunting American Muscle are turning! What is Hunting American Muscle? It is pretty simple, really.  We are a couple of guys that love Cars.

It started in high school for me when I was driving around a 1965 Mustang Fastback GT, with Pony Interior no less! (More on that car later!) My brother was driving a 1967 Fairlane GTA Convertible. Triple Black!  My buddies were driving a 1965 Falcon, 1966 Mustang coupe, a 1966 Nova (that was faaasst). My buddy Dale was driving a restored and super sweet 1971 Super Beetle. We had some other friends with classic Corvettes, Chevelles, there was a 1955 Chevy Sedan delivery floating around from time to time, lots of cool stuff, and this was in the 1980’s!

We are mostly about American Muscle cars, but there are a lot of European autos that we love too. We also look for classic motorcycles. See our Best of Class winner on the website! Our goal is to keep as many of these vehicles alive as we can. When we hear of one that is interesting we will drive to take a look at it and consider it for the Hunting American Muscle garage. If we like it, we will purchase the car or bike and get it home.

These days it seems that  most shops like ours will start a complete restoration, finish it, and then try to sell it. That is great. We love the restored cars! We are working on some now. The problem with that as I saw it, was, that I can’t afford to buy a fully restored Classic Mustang or Camaro for $20k or $30k or $40k,! Okay you get my point! I am a husband with a honey-do list, I work too much, a dad with kids that are going in different directions, so, I am guy with a limited budget and time for acquiring a car, but have the garage time available (Is an hour a day time?), the skills and the garage space to restore something over time.  That is where HAM comes in. After we purchase a car we think is worthy, we will go through the engine, brakes, lights, transmission, etc., to make the care drive-able and SAFE. We are not going to fully restore our rescued cars. (Unless you want to hire the Hunting American Muscle Restoration Services!)

After the car is roadworthy and safe again, we are going to offer it for sale. On our website, Ebay, Craigslist, or, anywhere we think it will get lots of exposure.

Hunting American Muscle is trying to get these Classic American Cars into the hands of the people who want to restore their own car. We want to be able to provide a good, solid platform the the guy or gal to be able to do a restoration with some of the technical work done, or to be able to do a driving restoration. We really want help people find their dream car, be able to buy it for a decent price and then do the work to make that car their own.  An automobile canvas for the classic automobile masterpiece in your mind!